“The culture is strong with this one” (Comment made by Yoda when PGL was going through Jedi training)
When the company started, we knew this was a team sport. From the beginning, we did things to show this. Our now 25-year old profit sharing program has always recognized that our whole village contributes to our success and it is only fair they share in it. Profit sharing was joined by open employee share ownership in 2002, and now roughly 60% of employees have shares, and nearly everyone at PGL thinks of themselves and behaves as an owner. We operate openly, where everyone is encouraged to share their ideas and suggestions for improving PGL, because optimization is part of our DNA. Monthly office meetings and frequent management blog posts are opportunities to share how the company is performing and recognize unusual or sustained contribution, successes, and important moments. We continue to work together to make this a great place to work.
Our continued success and high levels of client satisfaction are based on the quality and character of the people who choose to work with us. Our consultants are smart, innovative, and motivated scientists and engineers who possess broad technical knowledge and extensive industry experience. We offer a highly motivating and exciting environment for our employees to work, grow and succeed.
Clients repeatedly bring their projects to us because they value both the capability and collaborative approach our consultants offer. With a reputation for excellence, our cohesive teams consist of individuals with complementary skills supported by the desire to go the extra mile.
To make sure that our clients achieve the best outcomes possible, we provide the best service by the best professionals.
Hiring for Fit
Our hiring process is a bit time consuming because fit is at least as important as education and experience. We use some unusual tools, like testing, group interviews and topgrading, so that we can actually meet as many candidates as possible, and check for fit as well as knowledge. We know what we’re looking for.
At PGL, each custom project team includes a mix of senior, intermediate and junior staff. Unlike many firms, senior staff is involved throughout the project and juniors get client exposure since PGL’s is a relationship building model. We trust our people to connect with clients. We need everyone on the project to be aware of each client’s business objectives, not just the technical and regulatory requirements of projects. Knowing the final objective allows PGL to deliver cost-effective, practical solutions with thorough technical competence.
This is consulting so sometimes we just have to work even though the day (or week) should be done, but consistent overtime corrodes productivity, and if the company gets paid, you should be too. Banking or overtime applies for nearly all PGL villagers, and we discourage it except where essential. Small companies can be flexible, and we are where it makes sense. Our hours, dress and leave policies are flexible and responsive. When you can make it work well, telecommuting is an option.
PGL has an extensive internally and externally provided education program for employees as well as the opportunities that show up on the job, with a budget of about 1% of revenue. We work on people skills, business development, writing, and project management as well as maintaining and expanding technical skills. Participation in internal committees and process development helps create our managers of the future, and mentoring happens every day.
A Few Luxuries
We don’t have a lot, but we do have great coffee and cool common spaces in our two larger offices. Up there on technology.
Health & Safety
We are really proud of our externally audited health and safety program. It is state of the art, especially for a firm of our size.
Michael J. Goldstein Memorial Service Award Fund
PGL established this service award in honour of Professional Agrologist Michael J. Goldstein, an employee with the company who passed away in 2005. The annual award is available to undergraduate or graduate students attending UBC in Vancouver, BC, in good academic standing, and who have demonstrated excellence in fields such as community service, student leadership, and volunteerism. Preference is given to students whose studies focus on the environment, soil conservation/contamination or issues surrounding social justice.
Supporting the Community
PGL supports a variety of youth and child community sports teams including hockey, softball/baseball and soccer. We match employee charitable donations, plus our core charitable activities include a Christmas toy drive for BC Children’s Hospital and family sponsorships. The range of volunteering and community involvement inside PGL is large.
PGL people like to enjoy themselves. We spend too much of our lives working to not have some fun at work. Each year the company holds numerous social events, sporting activities, and a full company retreat. We play in industry hockey tournaments and field softball teams at both our major offices. Our office in Vancouver is ideally located for our families to attend the annual Santa Claus Parade, and we have frequent beer nights.